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Sarajevo Crimes Verdict Expected Thursday

23. November 2015.00:00
Following the presentation of closing statements at the trial of Slobodan Bogdanovic and Goran Sladoje, the cantonal court of Sarajevo scheduled the announcement of the verdict for Thursday, November 26.

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Bogdanovic and Sladoje, former members of Bosnian Serb forces, have been charged with the arrest, detention and physical harm of civilians in the Grbavica area of Sarajevo from mid-June to the end of 1992.

They have been charged with beating civilians Bajro and Suad Besic on June 13, 1992. They allegedly took the civilians to the Jewish cemetery in the area, where they were used as human shields. Suad Besic was killed as a result. They have also been charged with having physically abused civilian Rajko Simic, because his wife belonged to a different ethnic group.

Prosecutor Nives Kanevcev said the evidence demonstrated that Bogdanovic and Sladoje were guilty of the crimes described in the indictment.

“The witnesses speak about the facts in a convincing manner. They describe how the Besics were taken to the Jewish cemetery and used as human shields,” Kanevcev said.

Kanevcev said the defendants were members of military forces, while the injured parties were unarmed civilians.

Radivoje Lazarevic, Bogdanovic’s defense attorney, said statements given by prosecution witnesses contained numerous contradictory allegations, and said his client should be acquitted of the charges against him.

“I propose that the court bear in mind injured party Bajro Besic’s statement, which was given two days after the event. In that statement he did not mention my client’s name at all. Instead, he said two members of the Territorial Defense had come,” Lazarevic said.

Midhat Koco, Sladoje’s defense attorney, said the indictment was unfounded and called upon the court to issue a verdict of release for his client.

“The prosecution has taken information from statements given by witnesses who neither heard nor saw anything. Sladoje helped many people. He had good relations with everybody,” Koco said.

The trial began in September 2013.

Emina Dizdarević Tahmiščija

This post is also available in: Bosnian